Introduction: Mandibular surgeries, edentulous mandible, use of dentures, and aging all predispose to residual mandibular ridge resorption and thinning. The edentulous state of the mandible makes the tongue occlude the upper airway. All these, contribute to difficulty in managing the airway. An adequate pre-operative review helped classify this index patient as high risk for difficult airway and adequate steps were taken to facilitate optimal airway management.
Case report: We present a 53 years old woman with mandibular deformity, anterior neck mass and inadequate mouth opening who has had a segmental mandibulectomy and a soft tissue closure of reconstruction plate. She was scheduled for mandibular reconstruction.
She was successfully intubated using a size 4.5 Intubating Laryngeal Mask Airway (ILMA) through which a size 6.0 ID classic endotracheal tube was introduced for ventilation. A gum elastic bougie was then inserted through the endotracheal tube, both the ILMA and classic endotracheal tube were withdrawn. An armored tube size 6.5 ID was then rail roaded.
Conclusion: The successful anaesthetic management of this difficult airway patient was facilitated by a thorough pre-anaesthetic plan, concise and skilled anaesthetic management strategy with a well organized team work.